Does DTC advertising affect physician prescribing habits?
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Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) is associated with both higher fidelity to minimum treatment recommendations for depression and higher prescribing levels of antidepressants for depression and adjustment disorder (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, small randomized controlled trial [RCT]). DTCA is also associated with higher prescribing rates for osteoarthritis, allergies, and hyperlipidemia (SOR: C, time-series analyses). No changes in prescribing rates have been noted for hypertension and benign prostatic hyperplasia (SOR: C, time-series analyses). Physicians often accommodate requests for DTCA medications (SOR: C, 4 surveys). In some cases, they wouldn't have considered such prescriptions for other similar patients (SOR: C, 3 surveys).
Journal of Family Practice, 59(11) 2010: 649-650.